Soon after the war in Ukraine broke out, countries around the world took action and started sanctioning Russia. These include banning Russian aircraft from EU and USA airspace, as well as stopping the supply of parts. The result was the paralysation of Russian aviation.
The Kremlin has tried everything to soften the impact of the sanctions. In an attempt to bypass the restrictions, Putin passed a law that nationalized foreign aircraft, basically stealing the jets. The country even started producing its own planes.
Still, Russian airlines, including flag carrier Aeroflot, have reached a point where they need to strip planes for parts, not only for the Boeing and Airbus jets, but also for the Russian-made Sukhoi, the parts for which are still made abroad, even if it is ultimately assembled in Russia.
Once one of the top airlines in the world, Aeroflot needed heavy state cash injections to keep operating. In May, the airline believed the domestic market would keep it afloat, but soon after realised it needed an extra $3 billion to purchase new aircraft. Considering 80% of its fleet consist of Boeings and Airbuses, it is struggling to keep planes operational.
A source close to the matter has disclosed for Fox Business that, at the moment, a Sukhoi Superjet 100 and an almost brand-new Airbus A350 are grounded by Aeroflot and being disassembled. Their parts will be used to allow other jets to keep flying. The source also revealed that some of Aeroflot’s Boeing 737s and Airbus A320s have already undergone this process.
The latest generations of jets, like A350s and Boeing 737s, need continuous updates for their technologies, which is why experts believe that within one year of the beginning of the sanctions, it will be almost impossible for the airlines to still have modern operational planes, despite the reusing of parts and the admittedly highly competent Russian engineers’ best efforts.